I decided it would be fun to create one more mutant. I have often wondered about the methods that nature uses to help animals that get eaten by other animals not get eaten quite so often. The adaptations fall into only a few categories:
1. Size. Big animals tend not to get eaten so often as little ones.
2. Speed. If you can outrun the predators, that sure helps.
3. Spines, horns and big teeth. These all come in pretty handy.
4. Poisons or chemical defenses. Poison teeth are even better than big teeth. And skunks, they hardly ever get eaten.
5. Camouflage. If they can’t find you, they can’t eat you.
But I have noticed something strange about these adaptations. Nature never uses more than one or two on each prey animal. Go ahead, try to think of an animal that has more than two of these defensive tactics. I will wait…
You couldn’t do it, could you? My theory is that if nature made animals too hard to eat, it would mess the whole system up. The predators would die off. Then all the plants would get eaten and the prey animals would starve. Isn’t nature clever? It is a checks-and-balances system. Predators are needed to make the whole thing work.
Have you ever thought about the fact that predators are basically the muggers and thieves of the animal kingdom? A herbivore spends its whole life saving up calories from the plants it eats. Then along comes some predator and steals all those calories. How rude.
When you get right down to it, all animals are just tubes. At one end of the tube, they take in calories, and at the other end they eliminate the parts of the food they can’t get any calories from. All the other things that animals have managed to evolve are just things that help get calories into the tube. Eyes to find the food, teeth to chew the food, feet to walk to the food. I am just throwing that out there. It has nothing to do with my new invention.
Yes, I have used my mutant making machine to invent an entirely new animal.
Here it is, the most awesome herbivore of all times…
No, I haven’t come up with a name for it yet. It is as big as a whale, fast as a cheetah, has a smelly skunk tail, is covered with horns and spines, and has huge teeth and poison fangs. It also can change its color like a chameleon, but if I let it do that in this picture, you wouldn’t be able to see it, would you?
Good luck, you calorie stealing predators!